Sending young horse for backing

Torryvald

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I am thinking of sending my young horse away for some further education. I have lunged, long reined and ridden him several times and he is fine, but I feel that 2-4 weeks with a professional would help him get off to the best start in his ridden life. My only concern is I don't want him coming back spoiled as he has such a lovely, trusting nature and is very sweet. I am willing to pay transports costs to anywhere in Scotland, I just want him to have the best experience possible... Has anybody out there had a positive experience with a yard that they would like to share? I have been considering a yard in Inverness which is run by a Kelly Marks associate.....

Many thanks
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ChowChow

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I haven't got the experience to share but it is what I will be doing with my horse when the time comes as I have the same thoughts as you with him wanting the best start in ridden life.

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Daisychain

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If you are quite confident, why dont you get someone to help you at home? as you have obviously done a good job up until this stage with no problems, i have always broke my own and i would say that 99% are really no trouble at all, aslong as your confident! good luck.
 

Torryvald

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I am confident, but he has bucked me off, although just once. I am not scared to get back on him and I have done, but I am worried that I am not a good enough rider to sit his bucks. I think most young horses will buck and if I always fall off he will learn that it is a good method to stop work!! I would love to sit his bucks, but when it happened I was on the floor before I realised he had even bucked!!! I have always sat bucks before, but this was pretty quick!!

I also think that he bucked me off because he was unsure of what I was asking I ( I wanted a walk to trot transistion) and got confused and I blame myself for that. That is why I thought maybe I needed help. I have been looking for good trainer to come to me but, I am struggling to find someone in my area. I did speak to a lady who I really like and trust, but she says she is just too far away. That is why I thought of sending him away. Plus I have an arena but it does not have a surface and I wondered if I was doing my boy justice.

To be honest, if I had a really good trainer I would keep on going, but my last trainer thought it was acceptable to thrash my boy with a lunge whip and I don't want to put him in that situation again, as I believe once the damage is done it cannot be undone.

Thank you for replying though, please PM me if you want to chat about the joys of young horses!!!!
 

Shilasdair

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If you do send him away for rebacking...make sure you tell them that you have done it, and had problems.
I used to break and school horses...and wish I had a pound for every time some horse owner said 'He's never been backed' when they had run into trouble
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Cop-Pop

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I've always done my own as I've seen too many horses come back with more problems than when they left. As I'm not the best rider in the world I've found a local instructor who is brilliant and she either comes to me or I go to here and we both ride them. I've never had any problems doing this and all the horses have gone away happy and well balanced.
 

jeanne

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perhaps the ideal scenario is to find someone that will come to you and help you to continue with what you've been doing already so that you've gained a bit more experience for the next time - if you are having a bit of a hiccup, the right (& brave) thing to do is to admit that and find some help. My daughters & I breed then break our own youngsters so I appreciate the dilemma of sending your horse away - good luck!
 

Daisychain

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You really dont want to be doing it on your own, and from what you have described you just have a confusion issue, it shouldnt really be a case of sitting out the bucks, if they want to do that they will get you off, so you do need to avoid that obviously, you need someone to confidently lead you around on him, just stopping and starting etc and if he feels like he is getting his back up, then you need to reassure him get his back down and then continue, my own mare which i broke this year was very cold backed and took quite a while to accept us, we made a big point of really moving around in the saddle, jumping on and off etc. you still have to watch her now mind sometimes!
 

Tanta

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We sent both our young thoroughbred horses to a wonderful person in Yorkshire to be backed, and they were done immaculately - but there was never any schedule to it, and it took as long as it took in both cases. I think a lot of really good people will not want '2-4 weeks' schedule, as they need to do things at a pace that suits the horse and wont want to hurry anything. So while it may be quick, it may also take time for them to settle. Also, if you are honest with the person you send him to about the small issues you have had, they will not want to rush anything. Sorry, not really answering your question, but I just think it is difficult to set a schedule with horses - and this is not really a good time of year to be backing a horse anyway, as most things will take longe on a cold windy day than a nice hot summer one! Perhaps turning him away now and sending him fresh to someone for a couple of months in the spring might be a better long term solution? Nothing wrong with them doing work and then having time off - one of our horses was backed at 4, then turned away for the winter, and brought back into work in the early spring as a 5 year old, and that worked really wewll as he was more mature by then.
 

pocket

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I have always backed my own horse at home and had an instructor/friend help from the ground. I have seen some horses that have been sent away come back ruined.

I think that the horse is more comfortable in his own surroundings and the backing experience is much better and not rushed, plus you then have the knowledge of what is being done to your horse and can look back in years to come and say 'I did that' its a wonderful experience and you will have a life long bond with your horse, I was the first and last person to ride my little Welsh D Fly and we had a fantastic bond
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My horse went to Jonathan Parrot's in Cheshire for rehab and I hung around alot. He did a great job with the youngsters there for starting and helped me loads with my mare. I know its a bit of a mission for you but if you can't find anyone closer, he's the man.
 

Torryvald

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yes, it is a difficult dilemma, and of course who I ever I send him to will be told exactly everything I have done with my horse in the greatest of detail!! I should have had my friend (who is experienced) at his head when I asked for trot and I genuinely think that he bucked me off because he was confused and I take full responsibility for that. My friend agrees that he was so calm and relaxed looking that she would have done the same, but obviously we are all geniuses in hindsight!

I would like a trainer to come to me, but I am picky about who I trust and I know of some locally that love to hit horses and I am wary about letting some one help me and then it go horribly wrong, which is what happened with my original trainer. She hit my horse with a lunge whip for what seemed like an eternitiy because he wouldn't walk on. Luckily I don't think she has damaged him, but I will never know and it was an awful time.

I do need help though and I contacted a trainer who I know is very good and I have had lessons from ger on the past. Unfortuntely she says I live too far away and she cannot recommend anyone closer. She has however recommended a yard in Glasgow which I am considering. I will not send my horse any where unless I am 100% certain that he will be treated with patience and kindness.

I do not think my horse has a problem, but rather if I don't help now, I will give him one!!!! I am in no rush though, and I am happy to turn him away until Spring if that is best. This has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I would have liked to have gone through the whlole process myself, but I said from the start that I would always do what is right for him

Thank you for all your suggestions though!
 

volatis

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I totally agree with what Tanta says about not having a shcedule with a young horse. We take youngsters in to back and the most important factor is to treat each horse as an individual and work it at it's own pace. Some owners want them to be 'finished' in a few weeks, others are happy to work at the horse's own pace.
Good luck finding someone to help you with your boy
 

Torryvald

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I don't know the yard's name, but she is listed on Kelly Marks intelligent horsemanship website under Inverness. I am also looking into wardhouse equestrian in Gasgow and I am waiting a call back from from a local instructor. I may just give him the winter off and either have help come to me or send him away in the Spring, which ever option is best. He is quite happy at the moment anyway, playing with his shetland boyfriend!!

Thanks again for all the wealth of advice!
 
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